Indian smartphone market expands 14.5% in 2018: IDC
New Delhi: The smartphone market in India grew 14.5 per cent in 2018 with shipment of 142.3 million units, as per research firm IDC.
In the previous year, shipment stood at 124.3 million units.
During the December quarter, smartphone shipment expanded 19.5 per cent year-on-year to 36.3 million units from 30.3 million units in the same period the previous year, driven primarily by multiple rounds of sales by e-tailers beyond the festive Diwali period lasting into December.
However, shipment numbers in December 2018 quarter were down 15.1 per cent compared to the July-September 2018 period, owing to high channel inventory.
"Amongst the big highlights of 2018 were the online-focused brands that drove the share of the online channel to an (annual) all-time high of 38.4 per cent in 2018 and a whopping 42.2 per cent in Q4 2018," IDC India Associate Research Manager (Client Devices) Upasana Joshi said.
She added that this was primarily driven by several rounds of discounts by e-tailers driving affordability through various financing options, cashback offers and buyback schemes.
IDC said "the offline channel had a rather muted year with a modest 6.7 per cent annual growth in 2018 and growing 5 per cent sequentially in Q4 2018".
"The offline channel was unable to keep pace with the deep discounts and go-to-market initiatives from the e-tailers almost throughout the year," IDC said adding that offline still remains the largest channel for mobile phone distribution in India and is crucial for the long-term success for any brand in India.
Xiaomi led the top three players' tally in the fourth quarter and full year (28.9 per cent share for both time periods), followed by Samsung that had 18.7 per cent share in December quarter and 22.4 per cent share in the entire year.